Saturday, October 22, 2005


BHOPAL (USA Today)--Famous 14th Century prophet Nostradamus predicted Kunjilal Malviya's erroneous foretelling of his own death, it was revealed today in Saint Rémy de Provence, in the South of France.

Malviya, an Indian astrologer, had predicted his own demise down to a specific day and to within a two hour window, declaring that he would die Thursday between 3 and 5:pm. Thousands of tourists and locals and prospective astrologers had gathered in the streets surrounding Malviya's home in Bhopal to witness this latest proof of his divine vision. But to a mixed reaction from the mostly calm and contemplative crowd, the appointed time came and went without incident.

In an unexpected development, on Friday the estate of one Michel de Nostredame (1503-1566), commonly known as "Nostradamus," issued a shot across the bows, with a tersely-worded statement from Saint Remy de Provence. In what some insiders say is shaping up as an internecine "battle of the visionaries," a one page statement was read in a press conference by Rhandi le Quieuque, president and CEO of Nostradamus Industries, Ltd., saying in part, "Anyone who has bothered to study the complete writings of Nostradamus will have known that this prophecy could not have been true." He then went on to quote a passage from Nostradamus' 1568 book of prophecies, calling the passage "authoritative, crystalline and final."

But experts are divided on the authenticity and usefulness of the quoted passage. American professor of antiquities, Dr. Jim Bakker III, PhD, called the passage "gobbledygook. No, honest; it's word salad," he said. "It sounds as though a couple pages were torn out of the middle of the passage. Really, my cat's peristalsis sounds more meaningful."

Back in Bhopal, Malviya remained mostly silent on the subject, only issuing a brief statement through his wife predicting "bad things" for Quieuque. Meanwhile, the crowd around Kunjilal Malviya's home became restless.

"I feel ripped off," said Salaami Sunddressh. "After a local ordinance outlawing stonings and public beheadings, there's little to do but swat flies and pick thru the day's street trash. I had hoped for a spectacular death."

Malviya did not appear, but the humiliated seer's family members spoke to the press and to the masses gathered outside the modest house where Malviya lives with his wife. Malviya's son, Anirudh, thanked all the well-wishers and told them that Malviya's prediction had been negated by the prayers of the gathered crowd. "Praise be to Vishnu, the Great Ballot Box of The Sky, for acknowledging that the desires of even so many unwashed faithful must outweigh the honor and sanctity of my father's otherwise unblemished record." He spoke in a clear but feeble voice, showing the strain of the past few days. "We were afraid of his prediction coming true because all his predictions till date have been correct." He reminded the crowd that, "My father had predicted the death of my grandfather 15 years ago and it came true exactly like he calculated," referring to one of the country's most notorious unsolved homicides.

Telegraphs began pouring in from all corners of the globe, a mixture of condolences at the loss of Malviya's record of accuracy and relief that the prediction had proven incorrect. A rather ominous announcement came from the Vatican in Rome, in the form of a statement by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope referred to the lapsed prophecy and ensuing controversy as "a sham" and referred to both prophets, Nostradamus and Malviya, as "phonies." He addressed the gathered crowd: "Let me remind each and every one of you that holding before ye a false idol is nothing less than the breaking of one of Our Lord's Most Holy Commandments," adding coldly "You're all going to hell."

To no one in particular, the Pope added, "I spoke to Jesus just last night and he told me specifically that anybody having anything to do with that bitch in prison getting an abortion is going straight to hell! And I am not even joking," he said sternly.


Anonymous said...

On a completely different ref. to a post some weeeks ago about the DC-8 and decents...I found it interesting. No boards but you can use TRs. I know for a fact that the C-17 is capable of using all 4 TRs for decent. This allows for a 15000-20000 VVI at 320 KCAS. Were TR decents ever allowed or used when the -8 was carring pax? I imagine its loud and shaky. Interesting stuff..

wunelle said...

Wow! You couldn't bring an airplane down faster in a spin than that 15-20K figure! That's an amazing thing. I don't think we see more than 6K @ 300K on the 8.

The TRs on the 8 were used in passenger flite, as confirmed to me by a captain I flew with last week. He flew as a passenger on one of United's final DC-8 flites (during which time he was already a DC-8 captain at my company) and said that the United captain made an announcement before they deployed them. He said the FA yelled at him because he got out of his seat during the deployment to look out the window by the inboard engines; but he wanted to see how much the pylon was flexing, since the whole damn airplane shakes so much. He said he was shocked at how much engine movement there was during TR usage.

So it may not have been routine, but they did use them w/ pax on board. At my own company, TR usage varies from a routine thing to just-shy-of-an-emergency, depending on the inclination of the captain. The engine pylons are expensive and exceedingly rare (unless more are custom built, which is even more expensive), so the company discourages the practice unless absolutely necessary.

Joshua said...

"I feel ripped off," said Salaami Sunddressh. "After a local ordinance outlawing stonings and public beheadings, there's little to do but swat flies and pick thru the day's street trash. I had hoped for a spectacular death."

Perhaps the best line you have ever come up with. Yup. Ever.


Anonymous said...

I was surprised at it as well. Unlike the spins I did back in the day the high VVI decent does not leave one stuck to the overhead panels....less than one G but no vomit-comet floating in the air sort of business. Anyway, I'll leave further responses to aviation-related posts.

wunelle said...

You can always count on a fella named Salaami!